Unplanned bit of track-bashing (passengers overcarried on Empty Coaching Stock working)

Skimpot flyer

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I just witnessed (at around 11:31) a Thameslink train which terminated at Finsbury Park set off towards Hornsey. Despite the best efforts of staff, announcing repeatedly ‘this train is not in public service’ and ‘please do not board this train’, I saw from the London end of Platform 7, two 20-somethings coming up the stairs from the subway, glance at the platform screens jump on, and the train moved off.
The screens were displaying the next scheduled departure, the 11:34 to Hitchin, so I’m guessing that’s what they thought they were boarding !
I’m guessing they’ll now get a trip over the Hornsey flyover when the train heads back South?
 
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choochoochoo

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Bit odd, seeing the shutdown procedure should have seen the doors be closed and a member of staff walk through the train.

Luckily they weren't headed for the depot.
 

RPM

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Instant Form 1 at our place now if pax are overcarried into sidings or left on an ECS working.
 

pompeyfan

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Instant Form 1 at our place now if pax are overcarried into sidings or left on an ECS working.

there really is no excuse for it. Lock the doors, walk through fully checking toilets and overhead luggage racks, exit via a cab or local door. It’s pure laziness.
 

ash39

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Instant Form 1 at our place now if pax are overcarried into sidings or left on an ECS working.
For the outsiders, what's a form 1 and the implications of it?
 

RPM

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there really is no excuse for it. Lock the doors, walk through fully checking toilets and overhead luggage racks, exit via a cab or local door. It’s pure laziness.
That is the official procedure, and if followed it pretty much eliminates the issue of overcarrying pax. The down side is it can be slow, for example if going through a train made up of three separate non-gangwayed units. However, if the company is happy to shoulder and delays incurred (they are) then I'm more than happy to follow the procedure to the letter.
 

Highlandspring

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For the outsiders, what's a form 1 and the implications of it?
It was the old British Rail ‘charge sheet’ used as the first part of the disciplinary process. It outlined the misdemeanours you were alledged to have done and gave a time and place for a disciplinary hearing. It was followed by Form 2 after the hearing, which set out your punishment.

I’d be surprised if any companies were actually still using the BR Form 1/Form 2 disciplinary process in 2021 and it seems a bit over the top to jump straight to a disiplinary hearing for overcarrying someone into a depot or siding.
 

RPM

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For the outsiders, what's a form 1 and the implications of it?
I expect someone else can explain it better than me, but it is the standard diciplinary procedure following a breach of the rules or cash regulations. It involves a formal charge, a hearing etc. Implications could range from exoneration to dismissal.
 

craigybagel

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I’d be surprised if any companies were actually still using the BR Form 1/Form 2 disciplinary process in 2021 and it seems a bit over the top to jump straight to a disiplinary hearing for overcarrying someone into a depot or siding.
It might not use the same terminology but it's still a potentially dangerous situation. Depots are not a good place for a lost member of the public to find themselves. Even post BR staff have lost their jobs over it - and the very least I've known happen is a period of retraining.
 

RPM

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It was the old British Rail ‘charge sheet’ used as the first part of the disciplinary process. It outlined the misdemeanours you were alledged to have done and gave a time and place for a disciplinary hearing. It was followed by Form 2 after the hearing, which set out your punishment.

I’d be surprised if any companies were actually still using the BR Form 1/Form 2 disciplinary process in 2021 and it seems a bit over the top to jump straight to a disiplinary hearing for overcarrying someone into a depot or siding.

Surprising or not, I can confirm it is the case at at least one (unnamed) TOC.
 

The exile

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It almost sounds as if the crew had discovered the doors couldn’t be locked, or getting the train out of the way quickly was paramount - otherwise why were the doors still unlocked?
 

warwickshire

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It might not use the same terminology but it's still a potentially dangerous situation. Depots are not a good place for a lost member of the public to find themselves. Even post BR staff have lost their jobs over it - and the very least I've known happen is a period of retraining.
Or some train operating companies do have development retraining plans.
Ie watched more than others.
However mistakes can happen human factors.
However when terminating at stations etc.
Occasionally it does happen on certain types off stock with local doors non sliding or power operated.
Ie at the end where passengers have opened and gone into whilst.
Power operated doors are shut.
Staff in middle.
With the class 1501 sprinters the worst for this.
Every know and then.
Because at times passengers are like lost sheep and will wonder and will try and get into anywhere .
 

Ken H

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It was the old British Rail ‘charge sheet’ used as the first part of the disciplinary process. It outlined the misdemeanours you were alledged to have done and gave a time and place for a disciplinary hearing. It was followed by Form 2 after the hearing, which set out your punishment.

I’d be surprised if any companies were actually still using the BR Form 1/Form 2 disciplinary process in 2021 and it seems a bit over the top to jump straight to a disiplinary hearing for overcarrying someone into a depot or siding.
punishment???

Surely all they can do is issue a verbal warning. 3 verbals can lead to dismissal.
 

choochoochoo

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If it was a 700 (as it is the only Thameslink train to go through finsbury park) then it's easy enough for platform staff to walk through it after the doors are closed.

Poor driver must've got a surprise when changing ends in the hornsey reverse sidings.

Poor design on 700. The 717s have a termination mode, where the doors are set so they can be opened from the inside only, to prevent people boarding, and once closed by platform staff as they walk through, cannot be re-opened. But guess what, the software mod is too expensive to put on the 700s.

The people who approved and signed off the design spec for these trains should be ashamed of themselves.
 

Starmill

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That is the official procedure, and if followed it pretty much eliminates the issue of overcarrying pax. The down side is it can be slow, for example if going through a train made up of three separate non-gangwayed units. However, if the company is happy to shoulder and delays incurred (they are) then I'm more than happy to follow the procedure to the letter.
It can take a while to do properly, of course. But if there are two platform staff provided who are trained to dispose of stock in this way, plus the driver, then it doesn't need to take that much longer to get it done properly. Of course if they're relying on someone to do it alone it could be very time consuming.
 

Aictos

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there really is no excuse for it. Lock the doors, walk through fully checking toilets and overhead luggage racks, exit via a cab or local door. It’s pure laziness.
That is the procedure at Thameslink so should be questions on what had happened.

I've seen it many times where people have ignored the many announcements both visually and audible who then realise that they can't get off the train and have to wait for the platform staff to open a local door on the 700s to let them out or who ignore the information and board anyway as what seems to happened at Finsbury Park.

As I understand it, once the platform staff board the train from the rear cab they have to either request the driver close the doors as they do at St Alban's or they make a announcement and close the doors themselves as they do at Luton.

After which they then walk though the entire train, checking the toilets as well for anyone still onboard who shouldn't be on the train at that point as well as check for list property etc.

Once they reach the driver at the other end, they should confirm that the station duties are complete and the driver should go when they have both the signal to depart and when it's time to.

Every Thameslink platform staff should know this, even at stations where they usually don't terminate except during engineering works
 

contrex

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I once read an account of an American female tourist and her young son who were carried in a supposedly empty TGV to the depot after arriving from the south at Gare de Lyon. They stayed on the train because the boy needed the toilet. While he was using it, the train glided out of the platform, much to her alarm. All was well when they got to the depot (Le Landy?) A smiling SNCF official gave them a tour of the depot and control room ("like NASA ground control" she said) and then complimentary refreshments in the canteen while they found someone going off-duty who would give them a lift to their hotel. Also a bag of freebie SNCF promo stuff for the lad. It was around the time of "Freedom Fries" and she said she would always love France after that.
 

choochoochoo

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It can take a while to do properly, of course. But if there are two platform staff provided who are trained to dispose of stock in this way, plus the driver, then it doesn't need to take that much longer to get it done properly. Of course if they're relying on someone to do it alone it could be very time consuming.
I don't believe drivers are permitted to shut down trains unless it is out of course. And even then I don't believe there is a requirement for them to walk through the train. AIUI a PA warning train is out of service and the doors will be closing is sufficient. Any over carry is down to operations team to deal with after that.
 

Starmill

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I don't believe drivers are permitted to shut down trains unless it is out of course. And even then I don't believe there is a requirement for them to walk through the train. AIUI a PA warning train is out of service and the doors will be closing is sufficient. Any over carry is down to operations team to deal with after that.
I think it is dependent on policy at particular locations.
 

Aictos

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I don't believe drivers are permitted to shut down trains unless it is out of course. And even then I don't believe there is a requirement for them to walk through the train. AIUI a PA warning train is out of service and the doors will be closing is sufficient. Any over carry is down to operations team to deal with after that.
That isn't the case at St Albans as the drivers are the ones who shut the doors upon being asked by the platform member of staff who then walks though the entire Class 700.
 

Tomnick

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Instant Form 1 at our place now if pax are overcarried into sidings or left on an ECS working.
What, not even an investigation? Either way, it sounds like a very poor safety culture, jumping straight to discipline rather than actually looking at how to prevent a similar incident occurring again.
 

Horizon22

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It was the old British Rail ‘charge sheet’ used as the first part of the disciplinary process. It outlined the misdemeanours you were alledged to have done and gave a time and place for a disciplinary hearing. It was followed by Form 2 after the hearing, which set out your punishment.

I’d be surprised if any companies were actually still using the BR Form 1/Form 2 disciplinary process in 2021 and it seems a bit over the top to jump straight to a disiplinary hearing for overcarrying someone into a depot or siding.

Used to be a file note at my old place with a repeated offence(s) being a written warning - after a brief investigation.
 

Roast Veg

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The people who approved and signed off the design spec for these trains should be ashamed of themselves.
Too many requirements/one size fits all/limited time/limited budget. Very difficult to get picky about "nice to haves" when even speccing out the hard requirements is a nightmare.
 

choochoochoo

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Too many requirements/one size fits all/limited time/limited budget. Very difficult to get picky about "nice to haves" when even speccing out the hard requirements is a nightmare.

I don't remember anyone coming to ask the drivers or other staff involved in using the train what they think might be good or useful ?

Yet they have the most useless 'energy used/recovered' statistics on the HMI (human-machine-interface) screen in my cab !! Why do I need to know that whilst I'm driving ? Who asked for that feature?
 

AngusH

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I think it might be worth looking at why the information screen displayed
inaccurate information which seems to be the initial problem here.
 

choochoochoo

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I think it might be worth looking at why the information screen displayed
inaccurate information which seems to be the initial problem here.
I'm no expert on the PIS system. Should it have showed 'Stand back, the train approaching the platform may not stop here' or something like that.

But doesn't that depend on if the headcode is in the GSM-R ?

Was this a planned termination at finsbury ? Maybe it was intended to go to Hitchin and driver hadn't changed headcode to one for their ECS move ?
 

PupCuff

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Passengers overcarried onto ECS workings happens frequently, it's frustrating but generally low-risk (in comparison to some of the things we deal with).

Usual reasons are either the staff member responsible for checking the train didn't do it/did half a job, two staff both checking the train without confirming which bits each were doing so one bit gets missed, the check was missed off the diagrams at the planning stage, last minute change of unit workings so the unit that was checked forms something else and another goes off ECS in its place, or that the trained and laid down procedure for how to do the checks is just overall useless.

Going straight to disciplinary for a passenger overcarry is unhelpful and says a lot about that company's safety culture. Disciplinaries are horrendously expensive, difficult to get right so if processes aren't followed they'll end up inadmissible anyway, and worst of all break trust between staff members and the company when they're misused. Do a safety investigation, look at all the factors which led to it happening, and make a few tweaks to the processes to reduce the risk of it happening again.
 

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